Iris (mythology)

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In Greek mythology, Iris (Ἶρις) is the personification of the rainbow and messenger of the gods. As the sun unites Earth and heaven, Iris links the gods to humanity. She travels with the speed of wind from one end of the world to the other,[1] and into the depths of the sea and the underworld.

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In myths

According to Hesiod's Theogony, Iris is the daughter of Thaumas and the air nymph Electra. Her sisters are the Harpies; Aello, Celaeno and Ocypete.

Iris is frequently mentioned as a divine messenger in the Iliad which is attributed to Homer, but does not appear in his Odyssey, where Hermes fills that role. Like Hermes, Iris carries a caduceus or winged staff. By command of Zeus, the king of the gods, she carries an ewer of water from the River Styx, with which she puts to sleep all who perjure themselves. Goddess of sea and sky, she is also represented as supplying the clouds with the water needed to deluge the world, consistent with her identification with the rainbow.

According to Apollonius Rhodius, Iris turned back the Argonauts Zetes and Calais who had pursued the Harpies to the Strophades ('Islands of Turning'). (This eventful 'turning' may have resulted in the islands' name.[citation needed]) The brothers had driven off the monsters from their torment of the prophet Phineas, but did not kill them upon the request of Iris, who promised that Phineas would not be bothered by the Harpies again.

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